Despite leading the nation in large trucking crash incidents resulting in injury and death, a bill recently introduced in the Texas Legislature, HB 19, asks legislators to help shield trucking companies from responsibility for harm inflicted by their drivers on the roadway, making it more difficult for victims of commercial trucking accidents to seek accountability and to be made whole.
The move comes even while the number of truck crashes in Texas increased by almost thirty percent from 2016 to 2019. In 2018 alone, there were approximately 658 fatalities resulting from large truck crashes in the state of Texas according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
The proposed legislation, although not aimed at reducing the number of these crashes, squarely targets victims of dangerous trucking safety practices. Among other alterations to Texas law impacting claims against trucking companies, the bill would limit the information victims could discover about a trucking company’s non-compliance with safety rules and regulations and create procedural hurdles to make bringing claims against trucking companies more difficult.
If ultimately passed, trucking companies who fail to properly train their drivers, fail to maintain vehicles, and otherwise skimp on safety practices, may soon have cause to celebrate. Texas drivers will want to keep a watchful eye on Austin to see if Big Trucking can impose its will on the statehouse and the state roadways.
If you or someone you love has suffered an injury as a result of a commercial trucking crash, call Houston law firm Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner at 713-396-3964 or toll free at 1-800-594-4884 for a personal injury consultation.